Thursday, March 20, 2014


When the United States embarked on this course back in 2009, I changed avatars to reflect the inevitable and ineluctable path of the American military. It flamed out in January of that year and it spent a few futile years trying to restart but there was no fire to be found. The election of 2012 confirmed and speeded the collapse of both the nation's foreign and military policies. Anybody could have told you that would happen back in 2007.

The U.S. Military resized for the 21st Century
There are some people who regret the rollback but I am not one of them. I regret the inevitable disgrace that will follow our foreign policy being left in the hands of opportunists and liars but the writing was on the wall for those who thought they could depend on America. What? You thought that the people who won the elections here were just kidding about their intentions and plans? I don't think you are that gullible. The majority of people wanted this outcome. They really don't care about anybody living overseas. I mean that literally. The people who elected our current leadership treasure their ignorance to the extent that they don't know and don't care about anything that isn't about them.

The weapons of war are getting more and more expensive and this country has gotten into the habit of providing it's soldiers, sailors and airmen with some of the best weapons on the market. The problem of course, is that the widest market is needed to keep the price of weapons within reach so a lot of our very best weapons and technology finds its way into the hands of our fellow Earthlings. That doesn't do as much damage as one would think because, a) the weapons are fiendishly difficult and expensive to build, and b) they cost the earth to maintain and require a constant stream of spare parts and, c) they require an education and the ability to read to be at all operational and effective. We can't save money if we don't cut the numbers needing weapons, training and equipment.

Getting back to our shrinking Army, it looks like we'll barely have enough for home defense, says the Army Chief of Staff. We won't be able to station more than a few thousand soldiers in Korea to help our friend and ally there to stave off and beat back the attack of the weakest largest army on the planet now that we've eviscerated Iraq's Army. There aren't going to be enough maneuver brigades to fight simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq------wait, those two wars are over. Well there won't be enough to fight the Russians in Europe if they suddenly decide to invade France or Belgium.


I think the world is going to be a little dynamic for awhile and it might be best if we sit it out for the time being and let the victims sort themselves out before we lend a hand.  Tomahawk missiles are relatively cheap but we should exercise some restraint and only kill people that need killing. There are some pluses and minuses to this approach since it involves human suffering on a potentially global scale but we have a plan for that.

We don't need another 13 years of war against allah's boys where we go all-in and after 13 years of fighting and nation building, nothing changed. We don't need another Vietnam where we piddled and dicked around at war for 10 years and the upshot was, we might as well have just stayed at home since nothing we did changed the outcome and only delayed the inevitable at a tremendous cost in human suffering.

The planners need to answer a few simple questions before we set minimum force levels. This approach has gotten something of a bad rap since the politicians at Whitehall came up with the idea that they would know in plenty of time when the next war was coming and have all the time required to rebuild their armies and fleets. They then took to doing nothing and a little later, started viewing with alarm, and then moaning that any defense buildup would lead to an arms race. They were idiots. Where are we going to deploy military forces in the next 10 to 20 years? 

North America seems secure.

Central and South America seem secure. Our fellow socialists ruling Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina are sitting on unrest that their policies of expropriation and theft have created. We don't wish to defend the status quo there or to intervene militarily. If our socialists wish to intervene there, I'd rather that we didn't have the means to go all-in and occupy a Latin American country for 10 years while dicking around and not seeking any diplomatic or military resolution to the conflict. There are no such solutions. The problems these countries face are ones of their own making and fixing them probably requires something truly awful to happen to their form of government. It's going to take Revolution, Civil War, repudiation of debt and a lot of bloodshed. The chances of this happening are just about nil. Still, better they do it without military intervention from the North.

Africa seems secure. When you think about sending soldiers to Africa think of this:

All of Vietnam and Afghanistan superimposed on part of Africa. We had over half a million soldiers in those 2 countries at the height of our police actions. When some complete jackass talks about sending 5000 soldiers to Africa, hit him very hard.
The map superimpositions at this site. It's a really neat map tool.

Europe seems secure. By what token can we be dragged into a fight in Europe if they do not fight for themselves first? Let them pick the force they think they need to fight their most likely enemy and then arm, equip and train that force because I don't see why we have to be their mamelukes. It's not like they paid us for anything. NATO is a slender thread, just one country, to hang your entire country from and they should see that plainly now. We just sold a nuclear armed country down the river last week. Well, they used to have nukes, but they believed us when we promised faithfully to guarantee their borders and national sovereignty if they let us cart their nukes away and burn them.

I would not have thought our socialists would take to Realpolitik as easily as they have. They spent many decades in the wilderness shouting for the exact opposite as the rest of the country struggled to contain a tyranny that seemed intent on spreading to encompass the Whole Earth.

Australia seems secure.

Asia seems to be on the edge of another major contraction just as it has for the last 78 years. Nothing is really new here except we don't ever hear about the Chinas fighting each other any more. The whole face-off across the Taiwan Strait has faded away to nothing as China gears up to exercise its dominance in its region in a fairly straight forward effort at exploiting the resources our idiot policies made available to it when we negotiated and signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and let countries reach the point of fighting over sea washed rocks since each one can be used as the epicenter of a 200 mile radius Economic Exclusion Zone bestowing all rights for mineral and sea bottom exploitation in the hands of the rock's owner. What idiot thought that was a good idea? Well, if you look at the parties that benefited the most, you won't be surprised.  Honestly officer, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

There is a philosophy that has crept into being in recent times. It might be called, peek-a-boo, I can see you. The President and his cadres know that the NSA and CIA give them the ability to execute any man on the face of the planet within a matter of hours. The Agencies that can hoover up and record every phone call on earth and analyze them in real time, can find its enemies if they ever dare to live like a 20th century man and use the phone. Why fight and kill whole armies if all you need to do to stop them is to kill the commanding general or his political masters?

Have you noticed how the science, technology and information to build drones has totally slipped out of control and into the unregulated hands of the world's drone makers and experimenters? As far as I can tell nobody made any effort to control the spread of drones and drone technology. As I've pointed out a number of times, every cruise missile is a drone and every drone can be a cruise missile. With drones proliferating like mad who will be able to say in a year or two, from where came that drone that killed the Dear Leader? Oh sure, fingers will be pointed but there's plausible deniability built right into the drone. "It wasn't me officer! Anybody can build a killer drone! Look, my Secretary of State was standing right beside the Dear Leader when they both got whacked! It was a plot to kill my comrade!"

10 years ago we had the True Believers™in my world who gloated about the effects they could achieve if only we could gain Total Maritime Domain Awareness. Now they can rave about Total Global Awareness and achieving effects all out of proportion to the size of the blow. Know your enemy has new meaning today. The President now knows who that guy is, where he lives, what he had for breakfast, what kind of car he drives and where he will be in 4 hours and 39 minutes which is all the time it takes to get a Reaper overhead with a couple of Hellfire missiles. 

If the President can do that to an American citizen who actually enjoys Constitutional rights almost on par with enemy terrorist jihadists detained in Cuba, then he can also kill Putin or Nigel Farage or an actual enemy of America anywhere on the planet.

The people who consider themselves our enemies are alive to the situation and know that he can do that whenever he wants to since there are no known constraints on presidential power in Argentina, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela or the United States of America. The law is whatever the president says it is.


Buck said...

I'm becoming a neo-isolationist. As such... I approve this message. :-)

HMS Defiant said...

Perhaps I have become one now although I do not like neo. I can see no national interest or actual benefit to anybody to intervene in struggles like Syria, Egypt, Libya, Africa, or the Far East. It takes a resolve we don't have to fight against a China or Russia on the field of battle and the weapons we could use to inflict harm on them are economic tools we are far too afraid to unleash.
I imagine our friend in Europe is shivering in fear over what the US will do next as it thrashes around trying to look manly and resolved.
We spent decades girding our loins for a war of ideas gone amuck but we had an entire continent that we saw worth aiding against tyranny. Well look at them now.
Aid is to be admired but we should declare a moratorium on fighting the battles for countries that refuse to fight. I want to sit and listen to the music of the Concert of Europe for awhile.

virgil xenophon said...

Curtis, IIRC one can place all of the US, Europe, China and Russia east of the urals(?) inside Africa--it's THAT big. (Note: did you know that one can place the entire nation of Austria--all its mountains, lakes, rivers and cities--inside the confines of the Grand Canyon? When people talk of mass transit in the US based on th European experience they have no concept of how small and condensed Europe is compared to the US. The logistic problems scale off the chart.

HMS Defiant said...

VX, yes, I know them well. My own nephew who spent a year living in Europe and goes there every summer bemoans the lack of a high speed rail network here as Skippy does elsewhere. They're not stupid so it must be something else that makes the simple scale of the thing impossible for them to grasp because neither one gets it. They don't see how high speed rail that moves at most a couple of hundred maybe a thousand people a day can EVER pay for itself even with massive subsidies.

The link on map superimposistion is fun to play with. It's like the 'Make your own Downfall movie" site. I'm amazed that people take the time to make such places a virtual reality on the net.